Chef leaves Rattlesnake Club for Atwater in the Park

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Longtime Rattlesnake Club executive chef Chris Franz is leaving the nearly 30-year-old Detroit restaurant.

Franz is now the general manager and executive chef at Atwater in the Park (1175 Lakepointe in Grosse Pointe Park), and will oversee all three Atwater taphouse locations, including the one at 237 Jos Campau, just steps from the Rattlesnake .

“A new season has begun at the Rattlesnake Club,” said a statement posted to the riverfront restaurant’s Facebook page Tuesday. “Executive chef Chris Franz has moved onto a new adventure.”

The post explained that chef de cuisine Jeff Lanctot will replace Franz as executive chef.

Franz joined the upscale, wine-friendly Rattlesnake in 2001 and Lanctot came aboard a few years later in 2004. James Beard Award winning chef Jimmy Schmidt founded the restaurant in 1988 and sold to the Stroh Cos. Inc., its landlord, in 2010.

This spring Detroit News restaurant critic Molly Abraham gave Rattlesnake a four-star review and reported that it recently made some tweaks including a new rotisserie oven and a 30-minute lunch guarantee for those coming by on their lunch hour.

The Rattlesnake Club is at 300 River Place Drive in Detroit. Call (313) 567-4400 or visit

Twitter: @melodybaetens